Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rafa Wins the 2010 US Open

After 8 long and grueling years, finally Rafa wins the US Open. The top-seeded Rafael Nadal has been working really hard for this especially because it is only the U.S. Open that he has not won. And now it’s official, he has won the 2010 U.S. Open.

This makes him one of only 3 tennis greats (Steffi Graff and Andre Agassi) to capture the career Golden Slam, which is the 4 majors plus an Olympic Gold. Another thing he has accomplished at only 24 is become the seventh man to complete the career Grand Slam and the youngest at that to accomplish the deed in the Open Era. He follows Rod Laver, Pete Smapras and Roger Federer as the fourth tennis champion to win three consecutive Grand Slam championships in the Open Era. He is only the only other player other than Rod Laver who has won in Paris, London and New York in one season. There have been major and high-achievement tennis players like Bjorn Borg who never achieved Career Grand Slam either because they did not have a long career or in the case of Borg particular tournaments were ill-suited to their games. Borg has never won the Australian Open and the US Open which is both played on hard courts. While some players don’t win the French Open which is played on clay or the Wimbledon which is played on grass. Rafael Nadal on the other hand has been victorious in all of these tournaments which have a variety of surfaces.

What I believe is the greatest difference is that Rafa is only 24 and he has a long way more to go. Federer is still the greatest tennis player but he has reached his peak while Rafael is getting better every game, and even his opponent Novak Djokovic noted that he was more in awe of Nadals win because Federer was playing as one of the best players in the world but Rafa,
Djokovic added:
“who is just proving each day, each year that he's getting better.That's what's so frustrating. He's getting better each time you play him. He's so mentally strong and dedicated to this sport. He has all the capabilities, everything he needs, in order to be the biggest ever, in my opinion. He has lots to come if he physically holds in the next five, six, seven years.”

When he wins the Australian Open, not if but when, then everybody can say he is without equal. But according to his uncle Toni who has been mentoring and coaching Rafa, he does not believe that his nephew is already the greatest player. According to Uncle Ton:
“The best players were Federer, Laver, Borg - Rafael is far away from them, although he is a very good player.”
When asked if his nephew is the greatest player his answer was to ask him 5 or 6 years from now.
Here is the current standing for the 4 Majors:

Australian Open
Tournament Dates: 18 January – 31 January
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne
Current Men's Single Champion: Roger Federer
Current Women's Single Champion: Serena Williams

French Open
Tournament Dates: 23 May – 6 June
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris
Current Men's Single Champion: Rafael Nadal
Current Women's Single Champion: Francesca Schiavone
Wimbledon Championship
Tournament Dates: 21 June – 4 July
Venue: All England Tennis Club, London
Current Men's Single Champion: Rafael Nadal
Current Women's Single Champion: Serena Williams

US Open
Tournament Dates: 30 August - 12 September
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York
Current Men's Single Champion: Rafael Nadal
Current Women's Single Champion: Kim Clijsters

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